Experienced Counsel for Tennessee Defendants Charged with Burglary

Aggressive representation for criminal defendants in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge

Burglary is an extremely serious charge. Convictions for burglary can mean a long prison sentence, fines, and penalties. Even after a release from incarceration, defendants are subject to parole.  A guilty finding can haunt the person charged for the rest of their life. If a weapon is used in the crime or someone is hurt or killed, the jail time gets longer, and the penalties are more severe. Your freedom and your future depend on strong and effective representation by a qualified Sevierville burglary defense attorney.

Delius & McKenzie, PLLC has the experience you need. Our office has over twenty years of experience defending clients in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge, and throughout East Tennessee. Contacting a Sevierville burglary defense lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest can mean the difference between a favorable outcome and extensive jail time and restitution. Our law office fights to protect your rights and to prove a reasonable doubt exists or that you did not commit the crime that is charged.

Key elements of burglary in Tennessee

Burglary is the crime of unlawful entry into the property of another with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault inside. To prove a burglary, the following elements must be present.

  • Unlawful entry. The prosecution must prove that the defendant entered a building. Buildings can include homes, apartments, retail stores, professional businesses, hospitals, and many other structures. Unlawful entry also includes entry into a car, truck, trailer, freight, or any other type of vehicle. Hacking into some else’s computer at their home or office may also be considered unlawful entry.
  • Intent to commit a crime. The intent to commit the crime has to be formed before the criminal defendant commits the unlawful entry. If a person enters a property without intent and then commits a crime, the person can be charged with the crime they commit – but not with burglary.
  • Commission of the crime not required to prove burglary. This part is NOT required. If someone commits unlawful entry with the intent to commit theft, assault, or a felony – that is enough to warrant a burglary charge. That a defendant changed his or her mind and did not commit any crime once inside the building is not a valid defense.

Currently local prosecutors are trying to prosecute shoplifting as burglary if the alleged thief is on a no-entry list or otherwise restrained from the property. If the burglary also includes the use of force against a person, then a defendant may also be charged with robbery.

Types of burglary

There are several categories of burglary:

  • Aggravated burglary into a residence. Because people should feel safe when they are asleep, burglary into a building where someone is expected to stay the night, such as a home or apartment building, is considered aggravated burglary. This also includes rental cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, even when they are unoccupied.
  • Aggravated burglary with a weapon. If the burglary includes a weapon and is in a non-public building, then the charge can be increased.
  • Aggravated burglary causing injury. A burglary where someone is injured can be upgraded to aggravated burglary.
  • Especially aggravated burglary. Using a deadly weapon and causing serious harm can give rise to the Tennessee charge of especially aggravated burglary.

Often, a Sevierville burglary defense lawyer at the law office of Bryan E. Delius tries to reduce an especially aggravated burglary charge to an aggravated burglary and an aggravated burglary to a standard burglary charge. In addition, our Sevierville burglary defense attorneys seek to reduce charges to less serious criminal offenses such as criminal mischief or trespassing.

In all burglary cases in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge, our office pursues a full dismissal of the charges when possible. A dismissal may be required if the defendant’s rights were violated or if the prosecution cannot prove each and every element of the crime.

Experienced Tennessee attorneys offering solid defenses against burglary charges

The Law Office of Bryan E. Delius offers aggressive representation to clients charged with robbery in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, or Pigeon Forge. We fight hard to have your charges dropped or reduced when dropping them is not possible. To make an appointment with an experienced Sevierville burglary defense lawyer, please call 865-428-8780 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. Our team offers in-custody visits.